Archive for the 'Mammals' Category

10
Jun
19

Cuties

Lots of cute kits!

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09
Jun
19

Shrike a light

Why would I need a scope? This was a mammal tour and we were going to walk down the dunes and look at some seals. Absolutely no need for a scope and tripod. Why on earth would I bother to cart it all the way down to the seals?

Each spring I run a mammal day in Norfolk. We start at around midday and finish close to midnight. It’s normal to get a dozen or so mammals on the list sometimes more, sometimes less. On the walk down to the seals we had the weather to our backs and to be fair it had improved from the persistent rain of the last couple of hours but the wind was gathering speed. I was scanning the hedgerows and fence lines to see if I could pick up on a Water Deer sheltering from the wind, when a flash of white caught my eye. It was a distant shrike sat on the fence. It was seemingly feeding constantly; dipping down to the ground then returning to the fence. I could make out through bins that it had a black forehead and a rose tinted breast. Time of the year told me it was more likely to be a Lesser Grey Shrike than anything else but I had heard an unseasonal Great Grey Shrike was in Cambridgeshire. I really needed my scope to get a closer look. …Ooops!

I put the word out, with a cautionary caveat, to a few local birders and friends as well as RBA (Rare Bird Alert). This was the only potential Lesser Grey in the UK at the moment and I didn’t want to state it categorically was a Lesser Grey without a closer look. I fired off a few distant record shots and tore myself away to take my guests down to the beach to photograph the Grey Seals.

It was as we were stood on the beach I took a look at the photos on the back of the camera and realised it was undoubtedly a Lesser Grey.

As we returned to the dunes the first local birders were arriving and I told them where it had been but said by now it was probably sheltering from the wind in the bushes … which on examination it was.

A nice bit of icing on the day which we finished at around 10pm with a couple of adult badgers along with two rather large cubs.

 

08
Jun
19

More Otters

Some good sightings of otters on recent tours. This individual was extremely curious of passers-by.

26
May
19

Formidible

Our largest land mammal in the UK is the Red Deer. It’s quite a formidable beast that needs to be treated with some respect. Until you are next to one its size is easily under appreciated. They are large. As we finished a tour the other week and were making our way back to the car we came across this individual. She seemed unphased by us but we didn’t get too close. Giving these animals their own space is always advisable.

06
May
19

Sitting Tight

On the Scottish Tour I ran earlier this month we found a rather scruffy moulting Mountain Hare. At first given his apparent ear length I thought he was a Brown Hare. However he was on a pasture aside a rough upland moor and was standing his ground but as I got a closer he got a little edgy and went around the other side of a drumlin. As he did so he showed his pure white tail that lacks the dark streak of the Brown Hares we often see in Norfolk. His darkening pelage is a far cry from the all white beasts Tania and I photographed up in Scotland during January. Sadly the numbers of Mountain Hares are now much depleted from when I first started running the trips to Scotland 11 years ago.

Next years tours to Scotland in April are now advertised. Two trips to choose from. Details are here and here

12
Apr
19

No room at the Inn

The one thing I never ever tire of is the mammals of Australia. Last month I managed to get quite close to a mother Eastern Grey Kangaroo carrying a Joey. Just how big can these guys get in the pouch!

26
Mar
19

The UK Mammal Photographer of the Year

The UK Mammal Photographer of the Year is an award based upon an annual competition run by the Mammal Society. I don’t normally enter competitions. I’m a bit too bashful. ;0) Anyways, I was talked into entering the 2019 event and I was lucky enough that my photo of a Minke Whale ‘Minke Miniscus’ taken last June, won the runners-up prize. https://www.mammal.org.uk/2019/03/did-someone-say-cheese/ gives all the details. My congratulations to the winner, Roy Rimmer, who’s photo of a mouse is lit to perfection.

 

 




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